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Journal cover: British Food Journal

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Online from: 1899

Subject Area: Industry and Public Sector Management

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Antioxidant contents of pre-packed fresh-cut versus whole fruit and vegetables

Document Information:
Title:Antioxidant contents of pre-packed fresh-cut versus whole fruit and vegetables
Author(s):Umezuruike Linus Opara, (Faculty of AgriSciences, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa), Majeed R. Al-Ani, (College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Citation:Umezuruike Linus Opara, Majeed R. Al-Ani, (2010) "Antioxidant contents of pre-packed fresh-cut versus whole fruit and vegetables", British Food Journal, Vol. 112 Iss: 8, pp.797 - 810
Keywords:Fruits, Middle East, Processed foods, Vegetables, Vitamins
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/00070701011067424 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The paper was supported by his Majesty's Strategic Research Grant (SR/AGR/BIOR/05/01) at Sultan Qaboos University awarded to Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara. The authors are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the difference in antioxidant contents of pre-packed fresh-cut and whole fruit and vegetables as sold in the market.

Design/methodology/approach – Samples of pre-packed fresh-cut fruit and vegetables as well as whole produce were collected from the market in Muscat and Oman, and analyzed for vitamin C, lycopene and total carotenoids. Analysis of variance was carried out to determine the level of statistical differences between fresh-cut and whole fruit and vegetables.

Findings – In both fruit and vegetables, vitamin C contents are higher in whole than fresh-cut produce, with greater reductions in vitamin C contents of fresh-cut vegetables than fruit. In both fresh-cut and whole fruit, lycopene content is 30-36 times higher in watermelon than the contents of other fruit genotypes studied. Similarly, total carotenoids content of watermelon is six to 21 times higher than other types of fruit studied. Both lycopene and total carotenoids content are higher in whole than fresh-cut fruit, except in pineapple fruit. In both fresh-cut and whole vegetables, lycopene content of carrot is three to four times higher than cucumber, and four to six times higher than celery. Implications of these results on public health policy are discussed.

Originality/value – Previous studies on quality of fresh-cut produce are based on controlled experimental studies using samples of produce from the same batch to compare fresh-cut versus whole produce. However, consumers in retails stores often have to make a choice between pre-packed fresh-cut or whole (un-cut) produce, which are not usually from the same source or batch. It is therefore essential to understand the differences in nutritional value of whole and pre-packed fresh-cuts sold in the market.

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